Space Dracula wrote:My dad mentions going to Amsterdam after his Afrikaans learning and trying to use it with the locals, to show off to friends.
When he said something in Afrikaans, they gave him a weird look and said, "Why don't you just speak English!?"
Is this a typically Dutch reaction>
Maybe. Some say it's hard for English-speaking foreigners to learn Dutch, because everytime you give it a try, people will just respond in English. Also, Afrikaans certainly isn't easy for Dutch people to understand. I like Afrikaans very much, especially the sound and the spelling. In Dutch ears however, it can sound a bit childish: it has some really funny compounds, like 'hijsbakkie' (little pulling tray, elevator) or 'schommelmelk' (swing milk, milkshake). Well, it's certainly more colourful than Dutch loans 'lift' and 'milkshake'.
By the way, there was something in the papers yesterday about spelling reforms by the Taalunie (language union). Some years ago they introduced the 'tussen-n' or 'medial n' for compounds like 'pannekoek' (pancake), which became 'pannenkoek'. There were some exceptions however, like 'zonnevlek' (sun spot) because 'zonnen' would suggest that there is more than one sun. But now the exception for which nobody really understood why
it was an exception, goes out of the window in 2006: compunds with the name of an animal first and then the name of plant ('paardebloem', 'horse flower') will be spelled like other compounds ('paardenbloem').
And some new words will be included in the Groene Boekje (Little Green Book, the
authority on spelling): antrax, sms'en, e-mailen, and various loans like handknie (Surinam Dutch, literally 'handknee', elbow) and bollebof (from the Jiddisch apparently, meaning 'boss'. Cool word.)